Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), an integratedfree zone technology park, and Vernus International School (VIS), a new American primary school in Dubai focused on project-based learning, yet a community hub managed by EduHub Investment, has inaugurated the school’s new campus at the hi-tech park.
The opening ceremony was attended by Dr Juma Al Matrooshi, Deputy CEO of DSOA, Khaled Ibrahim, President of EduHub Investment, Engineer Muammar Al Katheeri, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Smart City at DSOA, and Dr Rita Estephan, CEO of EduHub Investment, as well as senior representatives from both entities.
Speaking on the inauguration, Dr Juma Al Matrooshi said: “Vernus International School reflects DSOA’s commitment to invest in the education sector. This step comes in line with the UAE national strategy to enhance the role of youth, develop human resources, and create young local cadres that contribute to the advancement of Dubai and the wider UAE. The new opening reflects Dubai’s position in the education sector amid the state-of-the-art technological infrastructure that is ranked among the most advanced in the world.”
Al Matrooshi considered that this sector is full of promising opportunities that meet the aspirations of educational providers on one hand and enhance the availability of various educational options for families in Dubai on the other.
In its first phase, the primary school will have capacity for 600 students, bringing the total number of educational seats available in DSO to 7,100 – a 9% increase from the 6,500 seats available in 2019. Phase two of VIS will include secondary classes, and phase three will be VIS Academy.
The project spans an area of 6,024m2, at a total cost of AED 50 million. VIS offers an American curriculum for children from Pre-K to Grade 5, based on the Common Core States Standards (CCSS), as well as international standards P21 and Global Awareness, to meet the needs of diverse learners and increase college and career readiness. Stemming from the school’s belief in the holistic development of children, it aims to find each individual child’s strengths and talents and builds on them to give the children confidence to solve unfamiliar problems.
For her part, Dr Rita Estephan said: “Through our new partnership with the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, we aim to serve children and parents in a unique manner. Through our innovative programmes, utilising the latest technology such as virtual reality and hydroponic farming solutions, we will work to help students better integrate into the modern world.
“We will encourage students to leverage VR technology and contribute to the UAE’s Mars programme, which aims to establish the first inhabitable human settlement on Mars by 2117. We will also provide plots in each class to educate them on modern agricultural methods, such as organic and hydroponic farming, enriching their experience in the field, harvesting the produce, and driving them to eat healthy.”
VIS will be the first school in the UAE to use the biological rationalisation system, which reduces water consumption through different methods. The school will also implement a recycling programme and use solar energy to educate students about the importance of protecting the environment. Furthermore, the school will have various facilities, including school laboratories, sports fields, a library, and a children’s area.